The online media has become a necessary tool for our everyday life, a lot of businesses have been able to utilize this platform to boost sales and also build business relationships. In this interview, Stephanie Obi opens up on how she has been able to build a brand, and carve a niche for herself as an Online Business Strategist.
Who is Stephanie Obi?
My name is Stephanie Obi, I help Women Entrepreneurs and Speakers to build profitable businesses online. My company, ST HUB Limited is largely focused on Online Marketing, Online Branding, and Online Business strategies.
I founded an Online Business School, Steph B-School, to equip people with the skills they need to start and grow a successful business online. I also founded ST Colours A-School, an Online Accessories School, to empower young ladies with skills on how to make accessories. To date, this platform has trained ladies in United Kingdom, United States of America, Cameroon, Kenya, Australia, Zambia, Canada, South Africa and Nigeria.
Tell us about your educational background
I have a First Class graduate of Computer Science from Covenant University and an MBA from the prestigious Lagos Business School. I am also a lifelong learner, I have attended numerous training programs and read tons of books, which have equally contributed to what I am now.
How did you venture into this line of business?
I just followed my passion, and it led me on this amazing journey. I started making accessories in my 2nd year in the university, and I continued to make accessories over the years. After a while, I felt the urge to start teaching people all I had learnt, and hence I set up an accessories training school. I started getting requests from people outside Lagos, who were interested in attending my classes and so I set up an online accessories school. The ladies who took my classes started asking me questions on topics on marketing, social media, etc and so I started teaching them how to market their accessories with Social Media. I found that a lot of other women were dealing with problems in their businesses and since I had invested a lot in my own personal development, I started teaching other business topics.
This led me to start a business education company ST HUB Limited. I discovered that there was a massive gap in the business education industry in Nigeria. With the high unemployment levels, young people are constantly being advised to become entrepreneurs, but they need to be equipped with the right knowledge if they are going to be successful.
Through our various platforms, (Steph B-School, Steph TV, Speaking Engagements, Live training events, and website, www.stephanieobi.com ) we talk about how to start a business, how to grow a business and how to leverage on the internet to build a successful business.
We teach in a very fun and engaging manner, because we want people to really get the business skills. We have broken all the concepts down, so that it is really easy to follow and implement. It’s a very innovative way of learning and it has proven to be very effective.
As an online media strategist, what services do you render to businesses and individuals?
We teach. We teach people how to use the internet to grow their businesses and how to start businesses online.
We decided to focus on education because we believe that education is the most powerful world changing force in our time. If people have access to the right knowledge, they can turn their lives around and impact the lives of others too.
What are some of the opportunities that exist with these new technologies?
You can start a business online. You don’t need an office space to start. As long as you have value to offer, you can take advantage of the platforms online to run your business legitimately.
You can attract customers from over the world. There are no boundaries anymore.
How can entrepreneurs take advantage of some of these new media tools to improve service delivery?
As far as your mind can imagine, you can use technology for almost everything. We hold meetings over Skype, we no longer have to enter traffic to meet with someone. We use email and social media for customer service, people can access us quickly. We read through comments on our blogposts for research purposes. We use email to give value to our customers and build customer loyalty. Possibilities abound.
You hold online webinars where you teach certain concepts. How has the feedback been so far?
Phenomenal. We had an Online Vision Board Party recently, and the feedback has been overwhelming. Over 1000 people listened to the webinar, they created their vision boards, and sent us pictures.
Some went ahead to create their own Vision Board parties and sent us pictures.
We decided to host the party because we believe that entrepreneurs should have a Vision that they are trying to achieve. This is not new, we all know this but a Vision Board Party helps people to actually document their vision, as knowing is very different from doing.
We hold webinars on other topics that are crucial to businesses but are not easily accessible.
What do you think makes a successful entrepreneur?
Continuous personal development.
In what ways do you think the government can boost entrepreneurship in Nigeria – especially through the use of technology?
I’m not going to go into what the government should do. I think that we as a people should stop waiting for government and take our lives into our own hands. There are so many opportunities out there that we can take advantage of. What we have is already enough to get going.
As a young female entrepreneur, what advice would you give to other women that would like to start up a business?
Start for the right reasons. The entrepreneurship journey is going to bring you face to face with your greatest fears. If you started for the right reason, you will find the courage to face those fears when they arise, and you will come out stronger. Fear is just a feeling, it has no hands, it has no legs and it cannot stop you, unless you allow it to stop you.
What are your top 5 business nuggets?
- Keep moving
- Learn from your mistakes
- Keep Learning, no matter how successful you think you are
- Confidence is overated, do it afraid
What is your definition of a fempreneur?
A female entrepreneur who is passionate about solving problems and uses her business as an instrument to impact the lives of others.